2022 is truly underway, and Christmas seems like a distant memory. The world of digital marketing rarely stands still, and we want to keep you up to date on what we think will be the significant trends for the coming year. Many changes in 2021 have implications for the next 12 months too, so read on to find out our main takeaways!
This year will be full of interesting digital marketing opportunities and changes...
In-App Purchases Set to Rise
Streamlining the purchase process is appealing to both businesses and customers. We're all too aware of how high the average user's expectations are for a buying funnel process that is quick and easy to navigate. 2022 will be a big year for in-app purchases as there is an increased demand for sites to develop a seamless shopping experience after engaging users through their social media channels.
Main Takeaway: Ensure your online strategy is appropriately equipped for in-app purchases, as more of your customers will make purchases through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Podcasting Presents a Growing Opportunity
The potential to market your business through podcasts has increased rapidly in recent years. As of 2022, there are so many potential avenues to use, allowing you to interact with your target audience more personally. If podcasting is the correct route for your business, you can quite literally form a brand tone of voice and drive that human element that a lot of marketing activity strives to convey. Many podcasting platforms on the market make it easier to get your message out to an engaged audience.
Main Takeaway: Think about your target audience and if podcasting is the right channel for you to interact with them to get your message across.
Content Strategies Require Flexibility
Content continues to be the lifeblood of any organic marketing strategy in 2022. We have learned over the last two years how quickly circumstances can change. Looking to the year ahead, you need to develop a plan that considers the shifting priorities of your audience and how what's important to them. Content budgets are set to rise in 2022, particularly in the B2B space. Be sure to incorporate a degree of agility in any strategy you implement.
Main Takeaway: Plan with your content strategy, but remember that you might need an element of flexibility amid changing circumstances to meet your user's expectations.
Increased Appetite for Content Demonstrating EAT of Sites
Following on from our point about the need for flexible content strategies, another significant factor evidenced by the trends of Google's 2021 updates is the search engine's preference for content that expresses the Expertise, Authority, and Trust (of EAT) of a particular site. This ties into Google perennial advice on creating content that benefits the user, and this is being actioned within the function of Google's algorithm.
Main Takeaway: Remember that content should always service the user's need, as Google emphasises this practice more than ever before.
Facebook Evolves into Meta with Data Implications
One of the big digital marketing stories from 2021 comes from the world's largest social media provider, Facebook. Along with the announcement that the business is rebranding the parent company as Meta, social media marketers have had to deal with changes to how Facebook cookie tracking is handled on Apple's IoS platform. Users are now required to opt-in for data collection. This presents a challenge to re-targeting, and it's unclear whether Android will follow suit.
Main Takeaway: Social Media marketers need to rethink how they re-engage users on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Private Browsers Picking Up Traction
While Google continues to be the dominant force in search, other services that offer greater levels of privacy are gaining higher levels of interaction. This looks set to continue into the new year as more established private search providers like DuckDuckGo increase their market share. The 46% YoY volume increase in searches for DuckDuckGo shows that things are shifting, albeit in earnest. They still have a long way to go as Google continues to account for some 87% of all search engine traffic in the US alone, but the trend is worth monitoring as users become more data-conscious.
Main Takeaway: Users continue to adopt non-personalised search options, and we need to consider the implications of this trend.
Affiliate Links in Instagram Posts Available to All
Affiliate marketing opportunities continue to evolve with the introduction of affiliate links being allowed in all Instagram accounts. Before, the luxury of posting affiliate links was reserved to accounts with 10k+ followers, where smaller users could only post a link in their bio. Towards the end of last year, Instagram announced that affiliate links would be available to users through stickers that can be added to their stories.
Main Takeaway: Smaller influencers and brands with dedicated Instagram followings will become more valuable in driving qualified traffic through affiliate links.
Server2Server Cookie Tracking to Tackle Google Update
Another big news story from the world of affiliate marketing concerns the latest iteration of Apple's Safari browser and enhanced user privacy. Similar to our earlier point about the increased popularity of the DuckDuckGo search engine, Apple wants to address what its users see as privacy issues. 3rd Party Cookies now have a limited lifetime, but Server-to-Server tracking hopes to circumnavigate this issue of keeping tabs on affiliate sales on the Awin platform.
Main Takeaway: Affiliates will likely implement Server-to-Server tracking to allow their servers to communicate with Awin's to keep track of vital conversion data.
Google's Machine Learning to Help with PPC Heavy Lifting
The concept of machine learning has grown in prominence within digital marketing circles over the last decade. One specific channel that has reaped the benefits of the technical revolution is PPC. Google has rolled out several changes to the platform to allow Ads account users to regain more time back in their day to plan new campaigns and long-term strategies, rather than making individual bid adjustments.
Google has implemented several ML-based technologies such as Responsive Search Ads that automatically pair the best Ad headlines and descriptions or smart bidding that utilises signals based on previous user search behaviour to optimise performance during each auction in real-time for exact and broader match keywords. This makes the Google Ads platform more accessible and allows digital marketers to focus on the overarching paid search strategy for developing accounts further. Here at Equator, this means more time for our team to spend on the important insight and analysis of our campaigns.
Main Takeaway: The Google Ads platform is becoming easier to use, with ML taking the burden of minor campaign adjustments away from the account user.
2022 has a lot in store!
With so much set to evolve and change in the world of digital marketing in the next 12 months, Equator are staying right on the pulse of how to develop our marketing strategies for whatever lies ahead.